When Romances Flops


Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and countless couples went out for a night of fun and time together.

The reality though is that for many couples, the night did not go how they planned. Maybe the food wasn’t good, the conversation didn’t flow, they didn’t connect or worse, they had a fight.

Maybe sex was less than amazing.


If you do date night enough, you will eventually fight on it or it will not go according to your plan.

You can get angry.

Swear off date nights.

Yell at someone.

Or, you can try again.

Know that no matter what went wrong last night, you can move forward.

Maybe you couldn’t think of anything to say, you said the wrong thing, sex was not what you hoped it would be.

That’s okay.

Life does not end because of one bad date night.

On the flipside of that, when date night does go wrong, that is a great opportunity to take inventory of your marriage and determine if something is going on underneath the surface of your marriage that caused it to go wrong.

You could also try again tonight, except do date night at home and see how it goes.


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Monday Morning Mind Dump…

mind dump

  • The weekend that was my weekend was crazy
  • Definitely a reminder that you have no idea what a day or weekend can hold and how one moment can change everything
  • Saturday afternoon, the kids were playing in their rooms and all of a sudden I hear crying, Gavin walks out and says his arm hurts
  • It should’ve hurt since he broke it
  • Thankfully his adrenaline kicked in so there wasn’t any blood curdling scream
  • We hopped into action, got him the emergency room, spent all night at the hospital as he had surgery around 8pm
  • Needless to say, right now feels like I am sleep walking through life
  • Just a draining weekend on all accounts
  • Because of this, I ended up not preaching
  • The timing is totally God’s providence as we are using a series from North Point and had the ability to simply show the next sermon by Andy Stanley in the series
  • I’ll be honest, I was torn
  • It’s something all men feel
  • I told one of our elders who was with us Saturday night at the hospital, “The irony of feeling torn between working (preaching on Sunday) and being with my family is what my sermon is about this coming Sunday.”
  • He told me it would make a great illustration
  • If you missed yesterday as we looked at how to find Breathing Room in your finances, I’d encourage you to listen to it here
  • We are also kicking off a brand new series in 2 weeks called Beautiful
  • This is the first time geared towards women
  • Super excited about the content Katie and I will be sharing, but also some of the creative stuff we’ll be doing for it
  • Before the craziness, Katie and I got to have an awesome date night on Friday night
  • We went to Time Market to spend some tim reading, drinking coffee and hanging out
  • Such a cool place
  • While sitting with Gavin in the hospital, we got to watch some good football
  • The nurses were stunned at how much he knew about football
  • They even gave him a football to hold
  • Might be an obsession we share
  • Speaking of that, thankful for the teams that won yesterday because I think there will be some killer games next weekend
  • Shaping up to be a good super bowl
  • Started reading Simon Sinek’s new book Leaders Eat Last last week
  • So far so good
  • His last book was incredible
  • Well, off to start a normal week and (hopefully) preach this coming Sunday
  • Say a prayer for me and my family if you think of it
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Links I Like

Links I Like is a collection of blogs, articles and books I’ve come across recently and thought they were worth sharing. Click here for past Links I Like.


  1. 3 big opportunities busy pastors miss.
  2. Simone Richardson on Some thoughts on erotic romance books for women.
  3. 7 habits of a highly effective date night.
  4. Carey Nieuwhof on 9 great ways for leaders to use social media.
  5. Modesty and why it matters.
  6. Brian Howard on 3 ways to not miss out on real life.
  7. 7 ways to be more productive with your time.
  8. Jeff Brodie on How to know if your church is making daily progress.
  9. Brian Dodd on 10 things church volunteers wished their pastor knew.

Date Night at Home

In numerous places, I’ve written and talked about the importance of a weekly date night, you can read about that here.

Unless you have free babysitting every week, there is a good chance at some point you will have a date night at home. Often, this feels like a letdown for a couple because there is something fun and exciting about going out. There is something freeing about someone else putting your kids down. For Katie and I, most of our date nights are at home after the kids go to bed.

Here are a few ways we’ve made those special:

Have a plan. Nothing hurts date night more than having no plan. In the same way that you plan going out, plan what it will look like at home. What will you eat, who is doing what, what time will things get started. You may have to be more intentional about the plan for date night at home because you are at home.

Stay dressed up. Don’t get into your pajama pants. Nothing shuts your brain down more at the end of a long day like getting into comfortable clothes. Stay dressed up. Wear what you would wear if you were going out.

No electronics. The fastest way to kill most date nights is turning on the TV, no checking out Facebook or Twitter or your email. Concentrate on each other.

Plan a fun meal. It doesn’t have to be expensive or a feast, but something special. Something you wouldn’t normally eat. Katie and I love to try new recipes, so we’re always searching. Katie uses this blog a lot for our meal plans and we’ve found a ton of recipes that have been great for date night on this site.

Eat with your kids. At home, we do an appetizer while our kids eat so that we can still eat dinner with them, talk with them about their day and it helps to hold us over until we eat.

Know who will cook and who will put the kids down. It might be more relaxing for your wife to cook. She may want you to handle the kids, or vice versa. Whatever it is, communicate that and stick to it.

Pick a night you are awake for. There are certain nights you are more alert and awake than others. Find that night and do date night on that night. If you have a long day on Tuesday, don’t do date night that night. Maximize the night where your energy levels are highest. I find knowing which night date night will be helps me to be mentally prepared for it.

What would you add to make date night at home just as good as going out?

[Image Credit]

Pray with Your Spouse

As I shared earlier, today is mine and Katie’s 9 year anniversary. To commemorate it, I am sharing some things we’ve learned about marriage and the things I love and appreciate about Katie the most.

Besides date night, praying with your spouse might be one of the most important things you do. At the end of each day, before you go to bed, pray with your spouse. This is a great opportunity to pray for each other, thank God for each other and the things you do for each other, to pray for your kids and bring your concerns to God as a couple.

Date Night

As I shared earlier, today is mine and Katie’s 9 year anniversary. To commemorate it, I am sharing some things we’ve learned about marriage and the things I love and appreciate about Katie the most.

The topic of date night is by far the biggest question Katie and I get about marriage. In fact, this is the 5th blog post I’ve done on it.

Here is my belief:  every couple needs a weekly date night, no exceptions. It is the man’s job to plan it and pursue his wife.

When Katie and I got started, it was every Thursday night. Now, it typically happens on Thursday night but it sometimes moves nights based on our schedule, but it happens every week. I would be stricter at the beginning and stick to a night so you can get into the practice.

It is your job as a man to plan it. This means, if you go out, you figure out where to go (don’t get in the car and ask her where she wants to go, that shows you didn’t value this enough to plan it), take care of getting the babysitter.

Date night is for being together. This means, don’t run errands, don’t shop (unless that shows her love), be somewhere quiet enough to hear each other (don’t go to a sports bar).

Date night does not have to be a big, expensive deal. Most of our date nights are at home after the kids go to bed. We will eat some kind of appetizer with them, put them down and then eat.

Date night is not for watching TV (remember it is about her and most women do not want to watch TV with their husbands).

It is always sad to me when I see women say on Facebook, “Finally having a date night.” And then all their friends say, “Lucky, so happy for you.” This one change would make a world of difference in your marriage and is often the first thing Katie and I tell people to do if they are having problems in their marriage.

Date Night

One of the most common questions Katie and I from couples has to do with date night. Everything from if we really do date night every week, how we afford it and what kind of things we do.

Yes, we do date night every week. The night varies depending on our schedules (it used to be Thursdays, but now it is on Tuesdays). The night is not important as long as it is regular and you protect it. I usually tell couples that when they are starting out, they should be legalistic about the night until they get into the routine.

The misconception about date night is that it needs to be expensive or that you even need to go somewhere. Don’t get me wrong, the idea of going out every week for date night sounds awesome, but expensive. When you factor in babysitting for 3 kids (like we have to), the price sky rockets. Most of the time, we do date night at home after the kids go down. We’ll make some kind of appetizer so we can sit down and eat with them, then we’ll eat after they go to bed. We also have times where we just make coffee, talk and listen to some good music. Date night doesn’t have to be a meal to be a successful night, you just need to have uninterrupted time together as a couple.

Here are our rules for date night:

  • I plan it. This isn’t a chauvinistic thing, but one thing I’ve learned is that date night is a great way for me to pursue Katie, meet her needs, show her how much I love and that she matters. Her love language is quality time, so this fits in well. This means, that if we go out, I find the babysitter. I figure out where we will eat, what we will do. I don’t get in the car and ask her where she wants to go.
  • Date night is not about business. This means, don’t run errands on date night, don’t talk about business as a couple. Date night is about being together, talking about where you are in your life, what is happening in your lives. If you have small kids, this is crucial so that your wife has a chance to have an extended adult conversation.

Whether you go out or stay in, date night is about being together, having your phones and TV off (unless your wife says she would like to watch a movie for date night). About 2 years ago I read a life changing book (life changing in the sense that it changed my life, not eternity) about being a man and this idea of date night was a big part of it. It is Sex, Romance and the Glory of God by C.J. Mahaney. If I could put a copy of this into every man’s hands, I would. It is that good. Ladies, go and buy this for your husband (you won’t regret it).

Links of the Week

  1. Dustin Neeley on What I learned about ministry from The Hurt Locker.
  2. Long live the sermon. Here is a great resource on why preaching matters, how to put together messages that will impact people and it’s only $9.
  3. How to cut your to-do list in half. This is a great concept.
  4. Tim Stevens on The pain of growth. This is a great post and really resonated with me as we have been talking as an elder and staff team about growth and how we continue growing at Revolution. This is right on.
  5. Mark Driscoll’s Date night tips. Some great stuff here. Katie and I love Thursday nights for date night.

Being a Pastors Wife Part 2

Many churches (and pastors for that matter) do not know what to do with pastor’s wives, how to treat them, what role they play or how important they are. While Revolution (and myself) has struggled just like every other church to figure this out, I believe Katie and I have figured some things out that we have put into place which will prove to be invaluable in the future. While this is not exclusive to pastors, any leader in a church and for that matter, any husband can do better in understanding their wives and how to engage them.

Below is part 2 in a series of 5 posts (Go here to see part 1).

It can also be difficult because no one knows what a pastor’s wife does. Everyone sees him preaching, leading worship, talking with people. They are touched by what he does. Words speak to them. He led them to Christ, baptized them, did their wedding, and was there for them when they lost a parent or a child.

What makes a pastor’s wife the most important person to the pastor is what you don’t see her do. For me, I am able to do all that I do only because of what Katie does in the background. The night before preaching is especially stressful for every pastor. They are thinking about their sermon, the people who will be there, the details, the people who are mad at them, any problems that are coming up, the list goes on and on what runs through a pastor’s mind the night before preaching. On Friday, Katie makes sure that our house is as relaxing as possible. We play with our kids, watch a movie, sit on the back porch listening to music and talking together. We do as little as possible. We don’t have any major discussions, we don’t talk money or problems we have (we do that on date night, which is Thursday night). The next difficult night is after preaching. A pastor thinks about the conversations, what went right, what went wrong. It is either an incredible high or a low. But the night after preaching is usually the most dramatic mood swing of the week for a pastor. They have poured everything out to help those in their church. Without Katie, I would not make it through a month’s worth of these nights.

Pastors, make sure your wife knows how important she is. It is easy for her to forget because she doesn’t see or hear everything. She just hears the bad stuff. Tell her about how what she does enables you to do what you do. How by creating a relaxing home, you are prepared to do what you do and because you do what you do and God worked someone’s life has been changed. That does not happen without her.

When was the last time you said, “Without you, I would not be able to do ________________?” Do you have a night (a weekly date night) set aside that honors your wife and give your undivided attention to her on this night? That means no phone, email, internet, TV. A night of relating.

Things I’m Excited about for the Holiday Season

Last night, Katie and I had our weekly date night. We spent it at Montana Avenue, a favorite of ours. Wow.

Anway, I can still taste the ribeye. Just sayin. While there, we talked about many things, but we talked about what we are excited about for the holiday season. Thought I’d share some of those things:

  • This is Ashton’s first thanksgiving and Christmas, not that he will remember them, but it is always fun.
  • We will have a house full on Thanksgiving, 15 adults and 11 kids. Love packing out our house.
  • Grilling our turkey. I know that people passionately push deep frying and bags on me, but nothing beats grilling a turkey.
  • We’re getting a Wii. Really excited about this.
  • My family is coming out for Christmas. Love having them in our house and love having them at Revolution when I preach. I think you would have to see my teenage years to appreciate the true irony of this.
  • Celebrating the Advent season as a church. This will be a first for Revolution, but starting November 28th we will take time in each of our services to read through the Advent season. Great way to focus on this season.
  • Doing a wedding on Sunday. Love being a part of people’s lives for the highs and lows, it is one of the greatest parts of my job. Weddings fit into the highs category.
  • This Christmas will mark 1 year that Paul and Jennifer have been at Revolution. It still blows my mind that they joined us and so excited about what God is doing through them on our team.
  • Putting up our tree the day after thanksgiving. Ava would already have it up if she got to decide, but we told her we had to wait, at least until the day after thanksgiving.
  • Spending the month of December reading several books on teamwork.
  • Okay, that has nothing to do with the holidays, but will be crucial to Revolution in 2010 and beyond. Our structure is shifting with our growth. Trying to see beyond our next steps to what our team needs to look like.
  • Christmas music.
  • Okay, that was a complete lie.
  • Winterhaven, love taking the kids there.
  • Having a week off between Christmas and New Years. This is one of my favorite breaks of the year, so crucial to be at full steam starting in January. We experience are second largest growth in February.
  • You read that right Revolutionaries, so be ready for an explosion in February.
  • Lamb on New Years Eve with Todd and Alicia. So good.
  • January, we will embark on our largest and most important series ever at Revolution. It will literally set the stage for the next 5 years as a church.
  • Hearing how God is moving in the lives of those who are doing the 90 day tithing challenge at Revolution. Over 25% of our church is participating. Can’t wait to hear how God is working in their lives during the 90 days.
  • Having three times as many people at our Christmas Eve service this year as we had last year.
  • What God is doing at Revolution is not normal and I never want to get used to seeing him work. I love being able to pray with people, challenge them and see them take steps in their journey back to God.
  • Never gets old.

Those are some things I’m excited about. What are you excited about?